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  #1  
Old 01-20-2009
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Next hop south on Wednesday - slight change of plans

Well, we had planned to leave tomorrow for St. Augustine but now we're leaving Wednesday for Ft. Pierce and Vero Beach. So I don't repeat it, info at our blog: s/v Pelican - Following A Dream. We're hoping to go direct, weather permitting. Anyone have any opinions on the weather along our route? It looks like it may start out a little bumpy on Wednesday, but then become too calm for sailing for the rest of the trip...
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Old 01-20-2009
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Well...looks ok after tomorrow or so. Having the extra help aboard will make all the difference. Post up before ya leave!
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Old 01-20-2009
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Chris,
I am guessing that Cam will check the weather for you before and en route as will I. He seems to be the best to keep in touch with though. Sailflow.com has some good forecasts and charts that can be useful for planning - if you are not already using their website (Jon Eisenberg uses it).
I am posting to concur with what others have said about offshore vs. inshore passages. In my limited offshore experience (400 nm. from Tortola to TCI on a 51' Bene with just the owner and me on board) it takes a couple of days to settle down and appreciate the rhythm of the watches and the sun, moon and planets. The toughest part for me was dealing with the loss of the horizon at night and not being able to see the weather and waves. I began to enjoy waiting for the moon and sun to rise and then the ocean waves became a welcome and familiar sight.
Newbies to offshore work like myself get an unfounded sense of security by being able to see the shore. Sailing at night near a coast is by far more dangerous then being in deep water though.
I am guessing but I believe that you have radar with a proximity alarm, chart plotter (and paper charts), sat-phone or equivalent, redundant GPS's, harnesses, tethers and jack lines and a life raft. All of this equipment you will hopefully not need but it was nice for me to think that all of this stuff was on our boat as we crossed over ocean waters more then a mile deep.
My real point is though that it does take some time for some people to begin to relax in this new environment. Knowing that you have the safety equipment (that you should) is only half the battle - the other half is just that and learning to relax and enjoy it takes a day or two.
I was rather sad about leaving my friends boat at Turks & Caicos after we had spent so much (really only 4 days/3 nights) time together in our little community. The real rush was going back to Miami airport and the crush of people and the usual stultifying delays on my way back to NYC.
Enjoy and be patient. I hope you have some light weather for this passage as it should make it easier for all to relax quicker. I often found the sound of the diesel chugging away had a soporific (sleep inducing) effect on me - but I live in NYC and am used to this kind of noise. When the wind is light the engine helps to keep the motion of the boat more stable - but you already knew that.
Wishing you all a safe passage.
Caleb D
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  #4  
Old 01-20-2009
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Caleb - I have all the equipment you mentioned except for a satphone, but we do have an SSB + 2 EPIRBs + 1 PLB + a SPOT, 3 GPSs, all the charts, liferaft (which is why we've been in Charleston for almost 3 weeks - getting a liferaft), jacklines, harnesses, radar, stocked ditch bag, etc. We usually navigate via chartplotter while keeping track of our location once per hour on a chart. I haven't done much offshore at all, but I know I hate being close to shore and dealing with watching for traffic, buoys, fish traps, etc. We went about 30 miles off a couple of times on our way down here and I enjoyed being out of sight of land. I'm hoping we get a bit of breeze (but not too much) so we can have a nice sail down, but the forecast says it'll be light. We'll see. By the way, for weather I primarily use passageweather.com and a little NWS (but they tend to be somewhat inaccurate). I take a peek at sailflow.com every so often. One of these days I'm going to get a Pactor so I can download GRIBs while underway. Cam - As always, thanks for watching out for us.. no cell phone service where we're going and you don't have an SSB anymore, so I'll see what you have to say when we arrive. I'll drop a note on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning to confirm our departure. As usual, we'll be running the SPOT so people can track our progress. Chris
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Old 01-20-2009
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Should be a two night hop for you. Once to Florida, I generally run about 4-5 miles off the coast. I've had no problems with any traffic along there. Harbortown Marina at Fort Pierce has Valtech fuel and a 10% BoatUs discount. Also on slips if you get in too late to run up to Vero. There's a Publix and CVS nearby as well.

There's a cut through the South Jetty coming out of Charleston Harbor that I use. Once through, I adjust my course (usually to St Augustine or Jax).
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Old 01-20-2009
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Chris....you may just get some signals as you run along the coast so I will send any updates via your e-mail...if you get them fine...if not, just delete when you get in. Will be fun to track you on the spot again. Snowing here now but I think you will escape that! Will take a thorough look at the Wx data this evening again. BTW...Vasco is in Vero Muni till next week.
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Old 01-20-2009
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We're actually planning on going direct, offshore, from Charleston. At our farthest point we'll be about 70-80nm off the coast. I'm thinking we'll be slightly out of cell range there I tried to find a place in Charleston that sells Sat phones today but can't seem to find anyone. Oh well...
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Old 01-20-2009
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Hey Chris,

I read your blog about Kim & George on s/v Indecent.

We know Kim & George so if you see them again say hello to them from Jorgen & Maria (s/v querencia) from Bay Point...

/Jorgen
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Old 01-20-2009
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You could try texting on your cell phone. You can often send a text even when the cell phone signal is way too weak for a phone conversation. If you type in a text message and hit send, the phone will keep trying to send it until it detects a signal. I've sent texts out about 20 miles from shore.

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Old 01-20-2009
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Charleston South Cut

Quote:
Originally Posted by PBzeer View Post
There's a cut through the South Jetty coming out of Charleston Harbor that I use. Once through, I adjust my course (usually to St Augustine or Jax).
Do NOT use the cut through the South Jetty unless Wx conditions are perfect. Even, as I once was local to C-town, I wouldn't myself run through there. Just go around.
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